The Russian owner who abandoned the ship full of ammonium nitrate that caused the Beirut explosion has been questioned by police in Cyprus, reports say

MV Rhoses Beirut explosion composite thumbnail.

A 2010 stock image of the MV Rhosus cargo ship, overlaid with an image from social media video of the explosion in Beirut, Lebanon, on August 4, 2020.

Hasenpusch/picture alliance via Getty Images/Business Insider

  • Igor Grechushkin, the Russian owner of the ship that carried a huge cargo of explosives to Beirut, which exploded years later, was questioned by Cypriot police on Thursday, reports say.

  • Grechushkin abandoned the MV Rhosus and its cargo of 2,750 tons of explosive ammonium nitrate in 2014. Lebanese authorities impounded the cargo until Tuesday's catastrophic explosion.

  • Police said the businessman, who resides in Cyprus, was "very willing to come forward" for police questioning, according to In-Cyprus News.

  • Grechushkin is not suspected of any wrongdoing, since Lebanese authorities were response for the dangerous state the cargo was left in, Cyprus police spokesperson Christos Andreou told MailOnline.

  • Business Insider has been unable to reach Grechushkin for comment.

  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Cypriot police have questioned Igor Grechushkin, the Russian businessman whose ship carried the explosive cargo that devastated Beirut on Tuesday, according to news reports.

Grechushkin was the owner of the MV Rhosus, the ship that carried 2,750 tons of explosive ammonium nitrate, before abandoning it in Beirut in 2014.

Those materials were stored in Beirut's port for six years, before they detonated in Tuesday's catastrophic explosion, as Business Insider reported.

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The 43-year-old is based in Limassol, Cyprus, according to multiple reports in local media there. The island state is a common haunt for wealthy Russians.

Lebanese authorities have placed numerous port officials — who were repeatedly warned about the dangers of storing the explosive materials — under house arrest pending an investigation, according to the BBC.

Cyprus police offered assistance to Interpol and Lebanese police after Grechushkin was identified as the former owner of the Rhosus.

A police spokesperson said that Grechushkin, a Cypriot resident, was "very willing to come forward," according to In-Cyprus News, an online news site.

Cyprus police spokesperson Christos Andreou told MailOnline that the interview lasted several hours. "He is not facing any charges, nor is it likely that he will," he said.

"The request came in late Thursday and we acted on it immediately. It was a list of questions that authorities in Beirut wanted Grechushkin to answer."

Andreou told the outlet that Grechushkin was not suspected of wrongdoing given that authorities in Beirut took charge of the cargo years ago and were responsible for storing it.

Police said the details of the interview, which have not yet been made public, will be passed to Beirut officials, according to Reuters. The police spokesperson did not identify the person interviewed to Reuters, but an unnamed security source said it was Grechushkin.

The Siberian Times published a picture purporting to be of Grechushkin, posing on motorcycle. Business Insider has been unable to verify if the image is genuine.

Business Insider has been unable to reach Grechushkin for comment.

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